Archives for August 2011

Guest Post! Maddie from Spidatter

Hello, hello! I’m Maddie from Spidatter (which is in no way a fitness blog, but I promise it’s still cool).

Ami’s allowing me to ramble on about my experiences with fitness while she’s galavanting in California. Thanks, Ami 🙂

Let’s talk about me and running. Not to worry…this won’t be a rant about the 10k I’m training for (because I’m not), nor about how much I just love love love to wake up at 5am and get a few miles in before work (because I don’t).
It’s a relationship that never really got off the ground, unfortunately. I’m not sure what the deal breaker was. Maybe it was all of those forced jog-a-thon fundraisers in Kindergarten (which I walked), or the “running of the dreaded mile” in third grade (which I also walked…in the snow), or perhaps it was all of those laps we did in PE in fifth grade…in our plaid, pleated uniform dresses. The man in the picture was our PE “coach.”

That’s me in the white sailor blouse. Adorable.

While the above memories all feed into my broken relationship with the track, the moment in my running history that truly highlights my athletic demise (and also doubles as an oft-repeated family anecdote) was the mile I had to run for physical fitness testing in junior high.
Junior high was a nightmare in and of itself, from which I’m still debriefing. And then at the end of the day, they made you run. We had these super cute red PE shirts we had to wear that had Santa Barbara Christian School printed on them. And all of the girls who needed sports bras were anti- wearing them (I was in that category)…while the girls with nothing to cover would wear them just for “fun.”

Side note: Perhaps some of you have heard me reference my “childhood best friend” from time to time…Katy [Hudson] Perry…? We were a year apart at Santa Barbara Christian School in junior high. I have this distinct memory of us changing for PE in the girls’ bathroom, wherein she lifted up her PE shirt to show not one, but two bras on, claiming, “My boobs are so big, I have to wear two bras at once!” So just to set the record straight, I wasn’t the girl she kissed, but she did flash me in junior high.

So there I am running the mile on a beat-up field full of gopher holes and puddles, and near lap four, I glance around and realize that I am one of only two people left still running. And the other girl is about to cross the finish line. And I am behind her. AND SHE IS WEARING A BACK BRACE. If that doesn’t scream, “Give up already! You are not a runner!” to an already insecure 13-year-old girl, I don’t what does…

Now I’m 25, and I just this last year began to mend my broken bond with running. It started with a trip to Lululemon and the purchase of this bra. I had foolishly sworn off this store previously as over-priced and over-zealous, created for the people who do yoga up to three times a day. And then I found myself all but drowning in a social circle of Lululemon believers and testimonies. So I ventured into the store – petrified, mind you – and bought this tank and the aforementioned sports bra. Which is solid as a rock…and yet bizarrely comfortable. And now I run. At least every other day. Not impressively fast, and not amazingly far – but that’s still running. And Lord help me if I don’t get my money’s worth out of that $50 sports bra and burn some major calories in the process.

I doubt they’d ever quote this in Fitness Magazine, but sometimes looking fantastic and spending unholy amounts of $$$ on athletic attire is by far the best motivation to sweat. Whatever it takes, right Ami?
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Guest Post! Across the Pond

I’m headed to LA for a fitness conference for the next few days so I’ll be completely M.I.A. Fear not. I’ve brought in back up… in the form of Megan (a real CA girl). Enjoy:

Hi there friends

I am Megan from Across The Pond

Since my friend Ami here is all into fitness stuff (proper terminology used)

I thought i would share a bit of my fitness routine with you..

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, i really make mine count

pancakes the size of your head is usually a good place to start.

After breakfast I continue the day by using my arms muscles to place food into my mouth.

after that i take a brisk walk to the end of my street

it is hard work.

But it has to be done.

Right Ami?

nailed it.

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Downtown San Diego…

The view from my room the first 4 days of my trip:
Doesn’t suck, huh?
Thanks, Julie for letting me stay with you!
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Troy and Sarah…

Yesterday I got to see these two get married:

These are their engagement shots by the amazing ladies (and friends of mine) at Joielala Photographie. If you need photogs for anything, hire them. Trust.
And since I left my camera cord at home, you won’t be able to see my photos of the actual wedding until next week… sooooo hold tight!
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Happy Birthday, Lucy

You know when people ask you who you want to meet if you could meet anybody? Lucille Ball would be my pick. I mean who else is that talented, strong, funny, smart, etc? Today would have been her hundredth birthday…
I Love Lucy is my favorite show and always will be. My mother introduced me to the show when I was a kid and have always loved it. I used be a tad obsessed with her… like collect-every-piece-of-Lucy-memorabilia-I-could-find-obsessed. When I finally ran out of space to put all the ish I collected, I called it quits. But that didn’t mean I loved her less. I still will watch episodes that come on Nick At Nite.
Favorite Eps:
Vitametavegamin. (duh)
We’re Having a Baby.
(where she tells Ricky she’s preggo. so. sweet)

Her movies were great, the books about her are sooo intriguing, and she’s just one of the coolest people I wish I’d had the chance of seeing.
photo via
photo 2 via
photo 3 via
p.s. San Diego is the
p.p.s. I just joined Google+ so be my friend. Or follow me… no wait, be in my circle. Yeah. That one.
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San Diego!

If you’re new to my blog, it’s important that you know how much I LOVE San Diego, CA. I moved there alone, a week after I graduated college, with my car loaded to the brim and $800 to my name. In the 4 years that I lived there I began my career in fitness, made some amazing friends, and learned so much about myself. I moved back home a year ago, but still miss and love SD so much. That’s why I’m thrilled that the BlogHer conference is being hosted in SD this weekend… along with a wedding of two of my favorite people. The IDEA Fitness Conference is in LA next weekend too so I’ll be in SoCal for 10 days! Yesssssss.

I plan on doing the following:
~Laying my ass on the beach (duh).
~Hitting up In-N-Out Burger and Longboard’s in PB for Taco Tuesday next week.
~Hiking Torrey Pines.
~Watching/betting on the horse races at Del Mar.
~Taking classes at Pacific Athletic Club, The Gym in Del Mar, and of course Barry’s Bootcamp (a few places I used to work).
~And finally, I plan on seeing all my friends that I’ve missed so much over the past year.
San Diego, I’m on my way!
no, literally on my way. I’m sitting in Chicago waiting for my flight… c’mon, bitches! : )
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Do It All: Strength Training

When people ask me what to do in order to get the best workout I tell them simply, “do it all.” Try everything, mix it up constantly, keep your body on its toes! After covering Hot Yoga and Bootcamps, next in the “Do It All” series is Strength Training! Cardio is not the only way to burn fat. You have to work your muscles too! Strength training builds muscle and burns fat, whether it’s lifting dumbbells, swinging kettlebells or doing body-weight exercises with the TRX.

Here are 8 tips for strength training (mostly aimed at females, but fellas, you can learn from this too), from me to you.
1. Warm Up
Doing 5-8 minutes of preparatory movements help to get the blood flowing from your organs to your muscles, making them warm, loose and ready to work. Skipping warm-up and heading straight for the weightstack is BAD. You can strain/sprain muscles this way. Remember, you can do things other than walking on a treadmill for five minutes. My favorite warm up move is the Spiderman Crawl.
2. Build it.
I hear people say all the time, “I want to sculpt my muscles.” Well if you don’t have a ton of muscle to begin with, you have to build it to be able to see it. I can’t sculpt your arms if there’s nothing (I know there’s something, it’s just not much) to work with.
3. Go heavy!
Nothing bugs me more than seeing chicks in the gym working with 3-5lbs dumbbells. Hello! You can do more than that! Especially if you’re not seeing results. Most girls don’t want to get “bulky” so they stick with light weights BUT 1) as females, you naturally don’t have the hormones to get bulky and 2) body builders work really hard with a very specific diet in order to gain the tons of muscle they put on. They lift such a heavy amount that they can only do a couple of reps. So don’t worry, it ain’t gonna happen to you. Trust me. I work with heavier weights and I am so not bulky. So pick up those 10s and 15s ladies! The only time I use 5lbs is for when I’m going to be doing a really long set (60-90 secs) of an exercise that works a small muscle group; i.e. deltoids (shoulders) or if I’m nursing an injury.
4. Make it difficult!
In order to to build muscle and get stronger, you’ve got to do some work. Think of it like progressing in math class, you’re never going to get smarter if you’re always doing basic addition and subtraction. You’ve got to push past what you can already do to see gains in strength. When your set gets hard and you want to stop, see if you can do 2-5 more reps (without sacrificing technique!). That’s how you progress. On the flip side of this, if you can’t complete another rep through the full range of motion, it’s time to stop. Don’t hurt yourself!
5. Go long.
Most magazine articles will tell you to do 3 sets of 8-12 reps of an exercise. Yes, this works, but if you’re used to working out already, this isn’t gonna do a whole lot for you. I usually work a muscle group for about a minute before I move on. This will allow anywhere from 15-30 reps, which helps muscular strength and endurance. Try 2 or 3 sets like that and see if you feel a difference. Remember that the last few reps should be difficult to perform. If it’s all pretty easy or you’re not feeling it by the time you’re done, you need more weight or more reps.
6. Keep it equal.
Most people only work the “vanity muscles” when they work out: the muscles they can see in the mirror. Abs, pecs, quads. Remember that you have a back side as well! Work the shoulders, work your mid and low back, work the hamstrings and calves! If you work one side, you have to work the other. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask a trainer at your gym. Or… ask me! Duh. ; ) When you work one muscle group and not the opposing one, you contribute to muscular imbalances in your body which can lead to improper posture and injuries.
7. Stretch!
If you work it, you stretch it. That’s all. Don’t do a heavy leg day without stretching your quads, hamstrings, and inner thighs at the end of your workout. It’ll help keep soreness to a minimum the next day (or two) and it’ll keep you mobile. If you do strength training without stretching, you’ll just keep getting tighter and tighter… and if you’re already pretty inflexible, you’ll be a hot mess even more. You should be as flexible as you are strong. Most people do an hour workout using the last two minutes to stretch. This is horse-ish. If you have 60 minutes to spend working out, do a 45 minute workout and use the last 15 minutes to stretch. Your body will thank you.
8. Get help.
If it hurts, stop. If you don’t know how to do it safely/correctly, ask. Remember, group classes at your gym are free and you can learn tons of technique cues before you try it by yourself. Getting a personal trainer can also help, especially if you’re working with certain circumstances or recovering from an injury . Find out how to do it properly before you do a ton of work the wrong way and hurt yourself. Torn muscles are not strong muscles.
Hope this helps! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
Trainer buds: Want to add anything? Leave a comment : )
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The Glad Game

*Warning: Seriously cheesy movie clip and post.*
But it’s completely awesome. Promise.
I kind of wanted to be Hayley Mills when I was a kid. The Parent Trap is still, to this day, my favorite movie. Anywho… I loved this movie, Pollyanna. Especially this particular part of it, where she tells everybody about the Glad Game. She grew up poor, without a lot, but her dad taught her that there was always something to be glad about, you just have to find it. So play the Glad Game!
~I’m glad that I wake up 5am every morning to teach bootcamp and train clients so I have the afternoon to take a nap run errands. While everybody else is working, I get the short lines at the bank, grocery, post office, etc.
~I’m glad that I’m self-emplyed. It sucks to have to pay all my own insurance, sure, but I can schedule a trip any time I like and don’t have to ask for time off or worry about deadlines.
~I’m glad that there are 5 animals in the house I’m living in. My dog has plenty of social activity and going for a walk is now WAY more exciting than before.
~ I’m glad to pack a ton of clients into a 3 day week this week so I can leave for Southern California for 10 days on Thursday.
See? I’m in a good mood already. So when your day sucks, play the Glad Game.
You’re welcome for that cheese-tastic blog post! ; )
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